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Triumph: In the Beginning (remaster)

Triumph’s first album In the Beginning was released in 1976, now finally seeing the remaster treatment it has long deserved. This one might be the album that has been least heard here in the US, but it’s one that every fan of 70’s hard rock needs to check out. This is raw, ballsy rock and roll, much like what bands like Aerosmith, The James Gang, Ted Nugent, and to an extent what early Rush were doing. Heavy tracks like “Be My Lover”, complete with Rik Emmet’s lethal guitar licks and powerful vocals, or the prog-meets-Grand Funk Railroad party rock of “24 Hours a Day” just churn with youthful vigor, showing a side of Triumph that is not really evident on any of their subsequent albums. On “Don’t Take My Life”, Emmit’s guitar snarls and spews nasty & heavy effects laden licks, while Gil Moore’s drums pound and his vocals screech. During Emmit’s solo, you can even hear bits and pieces of licks that would wind up on songs they would record later on.

The two part “Street Fighter” is another heavy rocker, and although it is a tad dated sounding, it still has a certain charm to it, especially the reprise section with Emmet’s melodic vocals backed by some nice atmospheric keyboards. More gritty and nasty hard rock can he heard on ‘What’s Another Day of Rock n Roll” and “Let Me Get Next to You”, both pieces decent but nothing to write home about, and “Easy Life” is a melodic yet forgettable piece that has little personality. It’s the closing piece that steals the show however, and reason enough to own this CD. “Blinding Light Show/Moonchild” is a near 9-minute epic that perfectly mixed hard rock and prog, and shows that perhaps Triumph were looking to put together an extended and adventurous piece much like their fellow Canadians Rush were doing at the same time. With haunting synths, melodic bass lines from Mike Levine, layers of chilling acoustic guitars, hypnotic vocals from Emmet, and thunderous passages of searing electric guitar work, this one has it all. There’s even a slight feel of early Styx on this track as well.

With enhanced sound and a full booklet of lyrics, the time is now to get a taste of one of Canada’s best ever hard rock acts in their infant stage. It may not be perfect, but it good rockin’ fun nontheless.

Track Listing

1. 24 Hours a Day
2. Be My Lover
3. Don’t Take My Life
4. Street Fighter
5. Street Fighter (Reprise)
6. What’s Another Day of Rock & Roll
7. Easy Life
8. Let Me Get Next to You
9. Blinding Light Show/Moonchild

Looking back, most agree that this album was an early indicator of Triumph’s sound and enduring appeal that would soon follow. Mike’s production chops, Gil’s precision in pounding, and Rik’s incredible vocal and guitar ranges are all there to be seen on their first release. The title track, and Blinding Light Show are definitely the highlights for many fans and their party years!

In the Beginning Review:

This is where it all started for Triumph. I still think this is a great sounding album and one hell of a rocker. Actually, I think this has been the most played Triumph CD I own. I wore out the vinyl of this years ago. As I am sure you know, the CD cover is different than the original album, but the music still kicks ass.

One of the “lost” highlights for me has always been “Don’t Take My Life”! As a matter of fact, Triumph used to throw the middle section of this song into the middle of “Lay It On The Line” when they played live. Everything is great about this album, the music, the production and the songwriting.

Lots of people thought there was too much Led Zeppelin influence, but for a first album I think they had already established a “Triumph” sound. I love it, you will too — BUY IT NOW and rediscover how cool Triumph really is.

Date Reviewed: 07/14/05
Reviewer: Keith Entringer
Location: Phoenix, AZ

In the Beginning Review:

Due to repacking in the US, songs from Rock & Roll Machine and In the Beginning were combined to form what became the American release of Rock & Roll Machine . Therefore, many fans below the border had no chance to hear many good cuts that were left off. 24 Hours A Day kicks off the album and the drive doesn’t stop until the thunder storm that closes Blinding Light Show/Moonchild.

The early style of Triumph is laced throughout the entire album, mixing elements of progressive rock with straightforward 70s hard rock. High points on the album are: 24 Hours A Day, Be My Lover, Street Fighter, What’s Another Day of Rock ‘n’Roll and Blinding Light Show/Moonchild.

It can be said of first albums that bands are reaching for what is to come while reaching back into what they know. This album screams Led Zeppelin while it searches ahead for what is to come.

Date Reviewed: 06/27/05
Reviewer: Jim Smith
Location: Midland, MI